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tv   Open Phones with David Mc Cullough  CSPAN  September 23, 2017 9:55am-10:21am EDT

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devoted to the idea of education and it is available to all. our whole public library system is something that is a miracle of american creation. [applause] >> the library of congress is the greatest library in the world. we did it. if you ever get down about american culture, you might like to remember there's more public libraries in this country than there are starbucks. [laughter and applause] >> host: thank you very much for the conversation. >> guest: thank you very much. thank you.
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thank you. [applause] >> guest: thank you. >> host: david mccullough's most recent book is called "the american spirit: who we are and what we stand for". 202 is the area code, 748-8200, east and central time zones and want to talk to david mccullough, 202-748-8201 for those in the mountain and pacific time zones. you are familiar with his work and all his books, john adams, harry truman, johnstown flood, the wright brothers, that is just a couple of the books he has written. american in paris. that is just a few of the books, we want to facilitate the conversation. jeanette in sarasota, florida, you are on booktv with historian david mccullough. >> caller: hello, david mccullough.
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>> host: good afternoon. >> caller: i love your work. you were in sarasota or bradenton a year ago and i wanted you to autograph my john adams book but i couldn't get a ticket. here is my question. when you were writing about abigail adams, we all know john adams's wife was just about the most liberal lady in america. but when she was in england and she went to see a fellow, a fellow --othello it brought out prejudice she didn't know was there, she talked about how black he was, the blackest man she had ever seen and she was really repulsed by the fact that he was touching the skin of the fair desdemona and she called a fellow --ohello that heretic
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more. >> host: what would you like david mccullough to respond to? >> caller: i would like him to respond to that. i don't know if it is really a question. >> host: thank you very much. david mccullough. >> guest: first of all, i am unaware of this incident you are talking about but i do know that abigail adams was an ardently, passionately, convinced and dedicated abolitionist. she and her husband, her husband was the only founding father who became a president who never owned a slave. it was largely because she was so adamant on the subject. the next president who never owned a slave was their son, john quincy adams. if she ever did say anything
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like you are talking about, that was something i'm not aware of but her actions, as they do, speak louder than words. >> host: would you agree that she was the so-called liberal for her time? >> guest: i don't think she was a liberal, i think she was a puritan and the puritans were adamantly for education, most of them against slavery, adamantly for freedom of religion, and opportunity and not a bunch of stiffnecked, unemotional people as they are often portrayed. in many respects the puritan traditions were a part of the bedrock superstructure of our country and our way of life. .. and our way of life. abigail adams was one of the bravest women of her time, as an
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ambassador in europe, her oldest son was also gone. she minded this home, my did the farm and one of the best writers of anybody. her letters are phenomenal, one of the most admirable women the formative time. bob is calling in from easton pennsylvania. good afternoon bob. it's a pleasure to ask you a question. i also enjoy your speaking very much. can you describe a typical day when you're home and are senta i understand he lived on a vineyard and what you do for the course of the day. just something i'm interested in.
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my favorite part of the day is the early morning. when i was working on my book about harry truman i read how he took a walk every day. i try to take a walk every day. usually first thing in the morning. and i had breakfast.d have it's not only the most important meal of the day but often the most delicious. i try to get out to the office about 830 and i work all morning that i come in for lunch and see if there's any phone calls or messages i havee some lunch and then i go back to work.ls and i work every day very often seven days a week the time goes by faster that way than anything that i do. i love my work. i don't play golf i'm not awo big sailor i just enjoy my
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work. i do love to paint.m not i'm often out sketching or painting particularly when the weather is good. in the evening we have dinner and i usually read for a while after dinner and go to bed. if i've have a particularly productive day. i had type written two pages that i consider all right for the time being at least. and then when i finish a chapter usually around 25 to 35 pages i put all those pages together and if it's good weather i find a nice comfortable outdoor chair to sit under a tree and i show that mug who wrote the pages is a brilliant editor that i am.
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i show him how to make it into something more acceptable. more one of the requirements of being a writer is to be a good editor of yourself. i often tell students and others to learn to edit y yourself and you're almost halfway or more. and you're almost halfway or more. do you use a typewriter or a computer. a manual typewriter. which i bought when i started my first book.ted my this is more than 50 yearsok ago.st in the manual typewriter was secondhand when i bought it i paid $75 for it. it was 25 years old. and i had written everything i had written on the typewriterarl and there is nothing wrong with it. it's in full service for over
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for 50 years i have to change the ribbon once in a while but other than that they didn't have any notion i guess and yet the typewriter about plants.t about it's a marvelous machine. and sometimes i think maybe just maybe it's writing the books. the next call comes from hawaii. the question for mister mccullough was a personal aside i feel like the well of t the american voters in the last 16 years because of the electoral college. in his opinion is there any future for the american
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electoral college speemac that's a very good question. and as we know mrs. clinton received almost 3 million votes above what was voted for president trump. and that raises a big question. and i have learned not to talk about something that i don't know as much about as i need in order to talk about it. my opinion is an sense is that yes we need to re-examine that process and do so seriously. in the sense it's a violationn of the well of the people.the pp but we have a lot of problems to solve before we get to that one. he won pulitzer prizes for the two u.s. presidents.
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the next call from him comes from kevin with hartford connecticut. have a i have a question for you. the first -- first book i ever bought of yours i have all that of that up with john adams. i know you put a lot of work and on the as well. i can't help but wonder if you ever thought about or anyr desire at all on your part to be involved in a similar project i think that wouldt make a fantastic miniseries.ama? was ever a consideration on your part. not only is under consideration with a number of people who've already done important work on the idea and tom hanks is the one that is interested in it.sted i
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and he of course as you know is the one who produces it and has a very important role in the creation of john adams miniseries on hbo. the answers the question is yes and i hope it will happen.een th who was running the country between the constitutional cannot convention of 87 and george washington's presidency and congress have some difficult issues to settle. the one thing we were in the midst of the terrible profession. in the depression lasted as cong as the war have and mostngg people didn't understand how long the war lasted. eight and half years. except for vietnam it's the longest war we have ever been involved in. the plight of people in new england was really serious.
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and people were going to jail which was not what they fought that were four. it led to what was known as shays rebellion. it was a very unsettled time. it was the northwest ordinance that was passed by the congress. it provided the opportunity of inexpensive land for the revolution in lieu of the money they had been paid which was only worth about 10 cents on the dollar. it was the opening up of the west as it was then known it was north and west of the ohio river which ultimately became the important states of ohio,
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illinois indiana and michigan and wisconsin. and that was among the most important decisions of that congress.d and that came just before the m decision on the constitution which happened in that same year. and there is a new book on the northwest territory coming out isn't there. it's in the works. ter i enjoy greatly. high fun. we will move on and ron is calling in from valencia california. ron, we are listening gonini ahead.
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one of my fondest memories and thoughts of you is when you did a political roundtable and i wonder if you could talk about that for a minute. both david and george our wonderful men david of course no longer living and the honor of sharing the enter most thoughts with those two good spirited men it was one of the delights of my professional life. they were always full of good cheer. he spread on the islands of nantucket.
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i don't very often go to that. and my wife and it before the event took place were taking a stroll on the main street in a car came along in the window rolled down said get off this island. there's not enough in here for two of us.f this i there is a truly good guy. he never let his fame or his importance go to his head. he maintained a sense of humanity which is what we all needed to maintain. how anonymous can you be these days. b not as much as the way it was. i don't mind people stopping me to talk or shake my hand
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and like it. i've always liked being with people i had been raised to be open to everybody. when and i try it when i'm teaching and lecturing in colleges and universities i try to encourage students to talk to people asked them questions tal with the idea that you will never meet anyone who doesn't know something you don't know. so don't turn your back awayrt from keeping in touch with everybody. as your experiences progress. 2500 people in a packed room people waiting in line. as you can see around our set here. quite a crowd gathered. raymonds in mills boroughvi
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delaware. i want to speak with you i have many of your books. as one of our most beloved and noted historian's can you comment on the most recent elevated efforts to take down our national statues those t that have withstood time for over hundred 50 years. thank you. i have a very, get it and emotionally charged issue.e. i think when it was built when it was created in memory of someone there is a great deal to do with whether or not it is something that maybe ought to come down. the statutes to the heat heroes of the confederacy that were put up in the 18th 90s were being put up at a time when racism was rampant in the south when black people
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were being hanged it wasn't ugly, awful time on the ideal of equality in our country. if it was a monument erected as per george washington who owns slaves and well before the civil war then i think now, that's not how they felt about the subject then it was very different keep in mind that the civil war was fought on the principle of slavery it was evil. and those who fight against that were saint know slavery is all right.os it can stay. that is very different. we lost more human beings and that more than in any war we have ever been involved with. into ignore that as one side ant
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right and the other was wrong. it was to live in a kind of haze of romanticism. having said that i'm more concerned about the monuments in the statutes that we haven't raised here we are in our nations capital in there is no monument no building in the memory of john adams one of the most important figures in all of our history. so we are to be got to be thinking more about the people for whom we should be honoring.ople f i think there ought to be statues to the most gifted and devoted an important influential teachers in ourr country in every city that we have. in every town.city w they are doing the most important work of any of us and they had been doing all along.e most imp and they don't get enoughd credit.
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we don't celebrate them enough for what they do for all of us. for our children, our grandchildren and for us. last call for david mccullough comes from a gal in corpus christi texas. how are conditions down there. thank you for asking. things are good. we were fortunate the storm went 30 miles west and north of us. we have some of it but unfortunately for the surrounding communities and we see houston they got the brunt of it. thank you for asking. >> the whole country is thinking about texas and will be for a long time. all of us should chip in and help contribute to the people who are desperate need and we well.e who that's the way we are as americans.wi i also lived in houston for a while they are very diverse city. it's an amazing city.
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mister mccullough my questioniv is his opinion regarding the electric and how we select national candidates much has been written and set about the nixon debate. and how they changed how we vote for people. social media, television and a generation has gone up with that. i had wondered if that future in the current president and when people vote in the future have something changed where what is valued based on. >> we are getting close on time. i think we have enough to workrk with there. it is a very important question and we will never really understand the impact of television on all of us but it's here to stay it's part of our life and i for one think
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that the first amendment is among the most important bedrock foundations of our whole way of life and i think that the journalist that have been covering this presidency in the election that led to this. both in print and on television and on the electronic means of communications some exceptions have done a superb job and are doing a superb job and the ought to get far more credit than they do. they are brave, they are professional and we have to remember that having that kind of coverage is essential to our way of life. the next book is on the northwest territory in the northwest ordinance.
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here's a look at some of the current best-selling nonfiction books according to foul's books in portland oregon. topping the list it's hillary clinton with her thoughts on the 2016 presidential election what happened followed by olivia blank and they are told through the lives of six artists. after that the 2015 recipient of the american book award and indigenous peoples history of the united states by roxana dunbar in fourth is the hidden life of trees. followed by bell hooks thoughts on love and modern society all about love. our look at the best-selling nonfiction books according to foul's books continues with a life-changing magic of a tidying up after that comes a memoir from a national book award winning author. about his relationship with his mother you don't have to say you love me, then robert wright argues that they hold the key to enduring happiness
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and why buddhism is true followed by home now --dash how not to be wrong. about how mathematics can be applied in day-to-day life. and wrapping up our look at the best-selling nonfiction books according to portland organs foul's books is a genus i jennifer ackerman. some of these authors have or will be appearing on book tv you can watch them on a website. >> hello everyone. walk him tonight. hello. my name is matthew i work here on the event staff. and on behalf of the store owners i would like to thank you and welcome. the speakers tonight. just a few notes of

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